From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3--When Jackie Mitchell was a pitcher for the Chattanooga Lookouts, she made baseball history on April 2, 1931, by striking out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Moss begins this brief chronicle of the young woman's moment in the sun by setting the scene at the stadium that day, quoting the skepticism expressed by sports reporters. She then moves back to Mitchell's childhood and describes her early interest in the game and the support and encouragement offered by her father. When the scene returns to the big day, the author indulges in some minor fictionalizing as she imagines the teen's thoughts and feelings when she faced the baseball giants. The narrative captures the tension and excitement, and has the air of an experience remembered. Payne's mixed-media illustrations with their judicious use of sepia increase the nostalgic feel. Pair this title with Shana Corey's Players in Pigtails (Scholastic, 2003) or Doreen Rappaport and Lyndall Callan's Dirt on Their Skirts (Dial, 2000) for a close look at a previously neglected piece of history.--Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
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Gr. 1-3. On April 2, 1931, in Tennessee, the New York Yankees played an exhibition game against the Chattanooga Lookouts. Their pitcher was a 17-year-old young woman named Jackie Mitchell, and that day she struck out Babe Ruth and
Lou Gehrig. In cadenced prose, Moss tells the story of the girl who was taught to play--and to win--by her father and Dazzy Vance, the Brooklyn Dodger. Moss sketches Jackie's background so that when she's on the mound, we know the talent and determination that go into each pitch. Payne has well and truly captured the tone with his wonderful pictures. Slightly exaggerated forms and vintage colors echo Thomas Hart Benton and 1930s newspaper photography. This is a powerful read-aloud. Use it alongside Deborah Hopkinson's Girl Wonder
(2003), about the real pitcher Alta Weiss, and Shana Corey's Players in Pigtails
(2003), about the fictional Katie Casey, the girl in "Take Me out to the Ball Game." It's another book that makes you wonder, "How come we didn't know about her?
" GraceAnne DeCandidoCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved